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Maine high court orders school to open girls’ restrooms to transgendered boys

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February 4, 2014

Five years ago, the administration at a Maine school told transgendered fifth-grader ‘Nicole’ Maines that he had to stop using the girls’ bathroom at school and instead use a staff bathroom. But last week, the state’s highest court said the administration had violated the state’s law preventing gender-based and sexual identity discrimination.

On Thursday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled 5-1 on the lawsuit brought by Maines’ family and the Maine Human Rights Commission, saying that the school violated the state’s Human Rights Act. The lawsuit was filed in 2009.

Jennifer Levi, director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project, which is based in Boston, told NBC News it is the first ruling of its kind from a state’s high court. The activist called it “a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people.”

The issue of transgendered students and school bathrooms has drawn national headlines in recent months in Colorado and California. In the Golden State, a law allowing students in all grades through high school to use what Huffington Post called “expressed genders” to decide on which bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams to play on went into effect on January 1, 2014. That law is being challenged by referendum, which state officials still have to approve before it can land on November’s ballot.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:35 am

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